REPLAY: John Curtis rallies to edge Jesuit
All season long, senior leadoff man Nyan Hayes has been the catalyst for John Curtis Christian offensively.
Hayes was all that Thursday, reaching base three times, driving in a run and scoring twice.
Most importantly, Hayes was brilliant on the mound, pitching two shutout innings in relief, striking out the final three batters of the game in a thrilling come from behind 5-4 victory over Jesuit at John Ryan Stadium to split the two-game series.
“Throughout the year, I’ve been real limited,” Hayes said. “I had a lot of arm issues going on. Coach just let me take my time, rehab and get back. I just do what I can to help the team. It felt great. I was just trying to do whatever I can for my team. When they got me the run in the seventh inning, at that point, I felt it was game over, all I wanted was to get that one run. The win was very important.”
The win came just a day after the Blue Jays had drilled the Patriots 14-1 at Harahan Playground.
“This is exciting stuff,” Patriots coach Jeff Curtis said. “This is what this league is about, both teams competing hard, trading blows back and forth. I’m glad we were on the right side of it. All credit goes to our players for not giving in to the circumstances and just continuing to battle for each other. I can’t say enough how we battled offensively against some of their best pitching. Nyan hasn’t pitched much for us due to shoulder problems. You can’t say enough about him coming in there.”
The Patriots took the lead with a run in the top of the third inning on back-to-back walks to Nyan Hayes and Michael Curtis and a two-out, RBI single by Richard Woodruff to make it 1-0.
The Blue Jays responded immediately in the bottom of the third. Joel Terry was hit by a pitch, William Good grounded into a fielder’s choice and Hayden Morris walked. University of New Orleans commit Collin Loupe singled home a run to tie the game. Giovanni Licciardi and Tripp Haddad each followed with RBI singles to make it 3-1. Holden Hess followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-1.
John Curtis pulled close with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning. Syris McClinton singled, Nyan Hayes was hit by a pitch and Logan O’Neill doubled home McClinton to make it 4-2. Woodruff followed with an RBI single to make it 4-3.
The Patriots tied it in the top of the sixth as Buddy Micheu was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on an RBI double by Hayes to make it 4-4.
Curtis scored the winning run in the top of the seventh as O’Neill singled, Woodruff was hit by a pitch, O’Neill stole third and scored on a safety squeeze bunt by Michael O’Brien, scoring O’Neill and O’Brien reached safely to make it 5-4.
Hayes then allowed a single to Loupe in the bottom of the seventh but struck out the final two batters to end the game in grand fashion.
Ryan Porche took the loss in relief for the Blue Jays, going the final inning and a third after Canaan Clayton pitched four innings, allowing three runs on two hits and Michael King went 1 2/3 innings, allowing a run on three hits.
Loupe was 4-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored to lead Jesuit. Woodruff and O’Neill each had a pair of hits for the Patriots. Michael Curtis started for the Patriots and went five innings, allowing four runs on six hits.
John Curtis (18-6, 9-3) snapped a three-game losing streak and figures to get a top four seed in the upcoming Division I playoffs, which carries a bye.
“After some hiccups and some speed bumps, this was a huge win for us just to get back on the right side of playing good baseball,” Curtis said.
Jesuit (26-6, 6-6) faces Vandebilt Catholic to wrap up the season on Saturday.
JC 001 021 1 — 5 6 0, 9 LOB
JES 004 000 0 — 4 7 1, 6 LOB
WP—Nyan Hayes (1-0)
LP—Ryan Porche (6-2)
Time of Game: 2:09
SB—Michael Curtis, Nyan Hayes, Buddy Micheu, Logan O’Neill
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…